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  1. #1
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    HD vs E29, That's a Wrap!

    My experiment is done. The HD is just too good for the Enduro to compete. A few things really swayed me over the last 2 months. First off riding a 29 is a totally different experience. I can see why new riders like them since the dumb everything down. They are faster for 95% of the pedalers out there, but coming from a rider that can hit tech at speed, there was NO difference in times for me. I am sure they are faster for a lot of people, but for me analyzing Strava times the difference was zero. I do think that a lot of riders would benefit from switching to a 26 after getting started on a 29 or even starting on a 26 instead of a 29. It teaches skills you will never get on a wagon wheeler.

    Same for climbing. Absolutely no difference even on smooth fire road climbs. Tech climbs is was actually slightly slower. This was in situations where I was being slowed down and then had to accelerate a lot. The wheels really did not like to spin up. The .5 lbs per wheel makes a huge difference here.

    Suspension was no contest. The FSR rear was so active that I literally never took it out of Trail mode. For me Descend was completely worthless. I even rode the SWorks version for a short amount of time with the CCDB/CS and still noticed the bob going up.

    Cornering is the biggest difference that I noticed. The E29 did not have nearly the accuracy of the HD. The E29 would go in the direction pointed, but it was not exact about placement. Contrast that with the HD that I can place with pinpoint accuracy in any corner at any speed.

    That about sums it up. Let me know any specific questions you have that I missed in my write up. No matter what wheels size you ride get out and have fun!

  2. #2
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    Yeah, here's a question: How come it took you all these weeks to come to the same conclusion I did after one short ride on your 29er, Punk?

    Kidding aside, you did the right thing for a lengthy comparison. I am no expert with only one real ride on one, but good to see I'm not alone in not understanding the love for the big wheels. I can feel the speed benefit, but totally agree that it feels like it's dumbing down the experience rather than adding anything. Definitely good traction in the turns, but it felt like maneuvering a tractor. Flickability was gone, fun was gone. Not interested.

    Looking forward to your Mach 6 experiment next!

  3. #3
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    HD vs E29, That's a Wrap!

    Yo SP, I appreciate you letting me borrow the E29 for a week. That pretty much summed up my opinion with exception that I don't think it climbed that we'll or cornered well in tricky sharp turns! I do admit the suspension when going straight ahead was wickedly plush & like you said the descend mode was way too soft ! Way too much bobbing going on!

    On another note, my brother is loving his Stumpjumper 29" & it feels a lot smaller than the monster truck E29".


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  4. #4
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    Would love to see your thoughts on a Ripley! Trying to convince myself to stick with my trusty Mojo SL, but I'm dangerously close to trying out the wagon wheels. ;D

  5. #5
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    Glad to see you came to your senses, LOL! There's just something special about the 26" wheels I cant get from the other sizes.

  6. #6
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    I'm glad you came to the same conclusion myself and others have had!

    Definitely +1 on you trying a proper ripley.

    34 or pike. Thru axles. Short stem. Wide bars. Carbon wheels. Dropper. Big tires.

    I'm waiting for your review!

  7. #7
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    I need to find a Ripley with a 140 Pike on it to try for a week or so. Would love to check one out.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robo SD View Post
    Yeah, here's a question: How come it took you all these weeks to come to the same conclusion I did after one short ride on your 29er, Punk?

    Kidding aside, you did the right thing for a lengthy comparison. I am no expert with only one real ride on one, but good to see I'm not alone in not understanding the love for the big wheels. I can feel the speed benefit, but totally agree that it feels like it's dumbing down the experience rather than adding anything. Definitely good traction in the turns, but it felt like maneuvering a tractor. Flickability was gone, fun was gone. Not interested.

    Looking forward to your Mach 6 experiment next!
    You and mtbbiker are just smarter than me. Remember that what we describe as fun and flickability bike companies describe as "stability"!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbiker View Post
    Yo SP, I appreciate you letting me borrow the E29 for a week. That pretty much summed up my opinion with exception that I don't think it climbed that we'll or cornered well in tricky sharp turns! I do admit the suspension when going straight ahead was wickedly plush & like you said the descend mode was way too soft ! Way too much bobbing going on!

    On another note, my brother is loving his Stumpjumper 29" & it feels a lot smaller than the monster truck E29".
    Here is something interesting for you. Better Buzz got on an Epic 29 at the demo last week and he turned around less than 1/4 mile up the trail and handed it back. Wouldn't even complete a 15 minute loop on it! Was pretty funny! He did like the Mach 6 though. I think he is ordering one this week.

  10. #10
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    I'm not a 29er convert, but I'm a ripley convert. I've written about it here on the forum...I owned / ridden a number of the best 29ers out there over the last couple years...but kept coming back to the HD as the bike I really wanted to ride. I run the HD as a 26/26, a 650b/26, and as a full 650b. I love it in every setup.
    The ripley really isn't just a great 29er...it's a super fun bike in the way that most 29ers just aren't. I'm not in a position to have to decide on which one bike I'd own if I could only have one. If I ride the 650b HD I come home saying that's the one bike Id own. If I ride the ripley, I come home saying the same thing.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by riderup View Post
    I'm not a 29er convert, but I'm a ripley convert. I've written about it here on the forum...I owned / ridden a number of the best 29ers out there over the last couple years...but kept coming back to the HD as the bike I really wanted to ride. I run the HD as a 26/26, a 650b/26, and as a full 650b. I love it in every setup.
    The ripley really isn't just a great 29er...it's a super fun bike in the way that most 29ers just aren't. I'm not in a position to have to decide on which one bike I'd own if I could only have one. If I ride the 650b HD I come home saying that's the one bike Id own. If I ride the ripley, I come home saying the same thing.
    +1

    I test rode a Specialized 29er of some sort (Epic or Camber?) last summer (2012), a full carbon everything sled and it was like a couch. Sure, it went over everything, but it certainly wasn't engaging. I tested a Yeti SB-95 and SC TallBoy LT as well earlier this last spring, and they were way better than my Specialized experience. Then, I bought a Ripley w/o riding it on the trail at all. I felt it was livelier than either the Yeti or SC (admittedly, those were aluminum bikes though, so weighed a bit more), and miles above the Specialized I tried. It was not the short-chainstay Epic of 2013 from them though, so maybe that's the ticket. I did put the Roval Carbon Control 29 wheels on my Ripley and that took it over the top for sure. For me, the Ripley is THE bike now. It makes my SL-R feel slow, gives me more confidence, descends better (for me), rides better, and I can do more miles with the same energy. That translates into getting further into the backcountry and having confidence in not bonking on the way out or worrying as much about the terrain encountered.

    Just ride what makes you happy, what keeps you out there, and what keeps you interested and engaged.
    2013 Ibis Ripley
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelly_NH View Post
    Would love to see your thoughts on a Ripley! Trying to convince myself to stick with my trusty Mojo SL, but I'm dangerously close to trying out the wagon wheels. ;D
    Hi Pelly

    I think I could provide a bit of insight here. I rode an HD for 2 years and just got a ripley. I also have a DH bike (TR250 setup with a DC) and a Nomad. In short, the Ripley is freaking awesome. Its the only 29er Ive ridden that I actually liked, but having said that it IS most certainly a 29er and will not corner, jump or change direction as quick as a 26" bike; which is why I still own and ride a Nomad. The ripley is an xc trail bike, and its crazy fast. Its also a remarkably capable all-mountainish ripper if setup for such stuff. I can ride the Ripley on almost all the same trails as the Nomad or HD, but its obviously not as fast on chunky DH sections. Mine is set up with a 140mm X-fusion trace fork, decently wide tires and a short stem/ wide bars with a dropper post, its right around 26.5 lbs. The Ripley is significantly faster than the HD in all other situations outside of chunky downhill though. It climbs better, mostly as it has less travel and is like 4.5 pounds lighter, crushes flater sections of trail and is faster on milder descents that do not have significant chunk or features. When you get into Gnar the bike obviously gets nervous compared to the HD, it is steeper and way lighter after all. You also cant whip it around as well so split second line changes are tougher, manual's are tougher and smashing berms/ highspeed tighter direction changes are harder also and of course it does not jump like a 26" bike. Basically, its not as playfull.

    I really cant see any situation where a mojo SL would be superior though. Id agree completely with SP's take on 29ers and have zero desire for a 29er with more travel than the Ripley. When your riding steep, chunky DH the smaller wheels are superior, the 29er is just to hard to move around which is why longer travel stuff has never worked great with the bigger wheels. Like I said though, the Ripley is a super fast trail bike, it has huge balls for an xc rig. Ive hit stuff on the Ripley that I had no thought of riding when I bought it. I think it would be an ideal replacement for the SL, however I wouldn't buy the Ripley thinking it would replace an HD.

  13. #13
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    Great feedback Elsinore

  14. #14
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    HD vs E29, That's a Wrap!

    What's up sales punk
    I've been riding my 2013 stumpy carbon comp fsr 29r and I love it.



    I have to say the HD is a great bike on the DH and climbing one of the top AM bikes out their. It was just time for some thing different.
    As for my stumpy it's been fun getting used to the different wheel size. Going DH has been a lot easer then climbing. I have been getting strava PR on all my DH. So very happy about that. But climbing has been a learning curve. I thought if I went to a 29r I would be faster climbing. In fact my bro and I thought for XC riding I would de faster every wear except the DH and it was just the opposite I have been killing the DH. I think I have figured out the climbing part and will start going for PR on climbs and XC loops.

  15. #15
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    Great writeup Salespunk.

    Based on your review, was it pretty much the bouncy suspension you didn't like or the bigger wheels? Would you consider trying an Enduro 26" to compare? I saw others want to see a Ripley comparison too, but someone already wrote that.
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  16. #16
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    HD vs E29, That's a Wrap!

    As for is a 29R less fun riding then a 26. if you would have asked me a year ago I would have said 26 for life.
    I would say no.
    I think as long as your having fun that's all that matters and if you can beat your Strava PR. And my friends to the top of the hill and on the DH all the better. 29R for life!!!!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    Great writeup Salespunk.

    Based on your review, was it pretty much the bouncy suspension you didn't like or the bigger wheels? Would you consider trying an Enduro 26" to compare? I saw others want to see a Ripley comparison too, but someone already wrote that.
    It was the wheel size. They 29r is very slow from side to side and not as accurate in cornering. Without any speed advantage, what is the point?

    Tec, I think the better comparison would be your current Spec against a 100 mm travel XC race 26 bike or something directly comparable.

    And BTW I completely agree that it is all about fun! As long as people are riding it is all good!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
    It was the wheel size. They 29r is very slow from side to side and not as accurate in cornering. Without any speed advantage, what is the point?

    Tec, I think the better comparison would be your current Spec against a 100 mm travel XC race 26 bike or something directly comparable.

    And BTW I completely agree that it is all about fun! As long as people are riding it is all good!

    I thought it was just me and being short

    For me, I found they're great in a straight line (wow! I'm fast!), but in a corner I feel like I'm trying to force them around (ugh! I'm still going straight when I want to turn!).

    Funny thing, I find the same different between riding my small HD vs the small Ventana Ciclon (26" 150mm travel bike which measures the same reach as the large HD). The cornering on the HD really sold me because if I try to lean it in the corners as I did with the Ciclon, I would lean the bike too hard and slide.

    So for a 29er, I can see that you would need to lean it even more than I had to lean my 26" Ventana into the corners. I like my HD. It's a nice lil turning and jumping machine.
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  19. #19
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    29ers are faster for beginners because they don't know how to pump a trail. Once you learn to pump, a 26er can rail on anything. Fsr blows unless your riding a dh bike. It's way to active for climbing. I've ridden a lot of bikes. The mojo hd is the best all around bike you can buy, period. I ride xc and bike parks with it. Just change my tires and rear shock to a coil.

  20. #20
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    Dead on

  21. #21
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    Its always odd to me how much money people are willing to spend to go faster. Some mods certainly help, the coil shock did for me. But meanwhile, there fat, lazy and out of shape. Nothing will make you faster or safer on your bike more than fitness and skills. Save your money for lift tickets lol. Just my .02

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullcoilmojo View Post
    29ers are faster for beginners because they don't know how to pump a trail. Once you learn to pump, a 26er can rail on anything. Fsr blows unless your riding a dh bike. It's way to active for climbing. I've ridden a lot of bikes. The mojo hd is the best all around bike you can buy, period. I ride xc and bike parks with it. Just change my tires and rear shock to a coil.
    Some people never learn to pump and are happy just pedaling. I prefer pumping

    Haven't ridden an FSR suspension bike since my 2000 Enduro Pro. Supposedly it's improved since then, but I'm in no rush to find out.
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  23. #23
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    It is a totally different shock setup. Way more rebound required otherwise it is like a pogo stick. Way more plush setting for setting as well. My buddy just got the SWorks E29 and it killing it. I am talking 7-10 KOM's per ride on highly contested trails. He is more comfortable on it since he has a moto background and is used to having all of that mass while riding. He was killing it on the HD as well so not sure it is the bike, but he thinks it is.

    Different strokes for different folks!

  24. #24
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    I think that sums up just about everything. "different strokes for different folks" if your goal is to have fun and your having fun, if your goal is to win and your winning than all is good 😋

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by elsinore View Post
    Hi Pelly

    The ripley is an xc trail bike, and its crazy fast. Its also a remarkably capable all-mountainish ripper if setup for such stuff. I can ride the Ripley on almost all the same trails as the Nomad or HD, but its obviously not as fast on chunky DH sections. Mine is set up with a 140mm X-fusion trace fork, decently wide tires and a short stem/ wide bars with a dropper post, its right around 26.5 lbs. The Ripley is significantly faster than the HD in all other situations outside of chunky downhill though. It climbs better, mostly as it has less travel and is like 4.5 pounds lighter, crushes flater sections of trail and is faster on milder descents that do not have significant chunk or features. When you get into Gnar the bike obviously gets nervous compared to the HD, it is steeper and way lighter after all. You also cant whip it around as well so split second line changes are tougher, manual's are tougher and smashing berms/ highspeed tighter direction changes are harder also and of course it does not jump like a 26" bike. Basically, its not as playfull.

    I really cant see any situation where a mojo SL would be superior though.
    I wish I could have ridden a Ripley setup like yours. The multi-day demo I did on one with stock Arch Wheels, skinny Specialized rubber, and 120mm fork illustrated exactly where and how a Mojo SL would outperform a Ripley.... my SL with thru axle/thru bolt front rear, 650b Derby wheels w/ meaty low pressure tires, and dialed Monarch AM Push suspension pretty much smoked it everywhere....stiffer, snappier, better jumping, better tech climbing, WAAAAY more traction and forgiveness in hairy situations. I learned that 17.5" chainstays are pushing the limits of tolerance for me. The Ripley did roll up fire road climbs like it had one of those Fabian Cancellara seatpost motors installed though....fast fast fast and efficient, but I live in, and love, the rocky tech. I realize it's not a fair comparison, as setup is at least half the battle, and I'm sure that a "Proper" Ripley would be as different from what I rode as my current SL is from the original 26" skinny tire, Fox suspension SL's that Ibis shipped...
    ....would be nice to have one of each of the above!

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